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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Hot Glue bottle wax experiment
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #21
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I tried this method today and it worked beautifully! I put 5 hot glue sticks into a soup can and put that directly on my propane burner. I added 2 black Crayola crayons and the whole mixture melted within a couple minutes and didn't require any stirring. However, it did catch fire at one point and blowing on it just made the flames grow, so watch out for that. Also, I would recommend doing this over some newspaper or something b/c when I would flip it rightside up after dipping some wax got on the ground and is hard to get up.

Next time I'll use 10 glue sticks just so it's deeper. I'll probably also skip the floss, which was to make them easier to open but I think it's unnecessary and takes away from the presentation. I would also recommend only dipping each once; the double-dip doesn't look as good. The wax comes out smooth and feels similar to Maker's Mark wax. Here's some pictures (they are a deeper black in person, the pics make them look lighter):


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Old 09-05-2010, 11:16 PM   #22
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+ 1 on the dental floss, I prefer the wider stuff a drip of crazy glue to fasten the end on the cap and than one wide wrap. makes for a very easy removal

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:38 AM   #23
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I tried out this method today and it worked great! I'm a little concerned with how well stuck on the bottles were... we'll see how it goes when they're all solidified.

I used 12 crayons (from my 64-crayon custom box i ordered through the online build-a-box tool - 32 red, 16 blue, 16 brown for variation later) and 20 of the standard size glue sticks (4" by .44" size).

It seems like everyone here has access to gas stoves, in which case there's no reason why you can't just use low heat and put the can directly on the flame. I only have electric elements, so to avoid hot spots I tried the double boiler method first (which took an hour and it was only halfway melted and very thick). Since that wasn't working well, i swapped the water for vegetable oil (the smoke point of which is ~330 or higher) so i could get a hotter double boil going. It worked like a charm; I had the mixture hot and ready in a few minutes. Just be careful when using this method, the oil can get MUCH hotter than boiling water without seeming particularly hot, and if you drip any water in it, it will snap explosively.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the results; the wax dripped perfectly and they really resemble the Makers Mark style seals. If you want the wax to be more precise and contained to just the top inch or so, hold the bottle upside down at an angle over the can and continue to spin while the excess wax flows off until there is very little left, then turn upright. If you want more drips, dunk then give it one or two spins to even it out, then turn upright while there is still a lot of extra hot wax left to slowly run down the sides. After the first couple bottles I was getting 1.5" or so of full coverage with several 1-2 inch drips coming down the neck... Beautiful!

As for its efficacy in reducing oxidation, I really doubt it does much. The primary source of oxygen is during racking/bottling, and normal caps when attached correctly provide a great seal already, not to mention your beer is under positive pressure anyway so no outside air is getting in. For beers that I'm going to age more than 3-6 months I'll use the oxygen absorbing caps to try and grab up any oxygen left in the head space from bottling (I don't know if they really work either, but its $1 extra per 250 at my LHBS so why not). That said, the wax certainly is beautiful and really goes a long way towards presentation value if you're giving it as a gift. I just used it on a Pecan Barleywine I bottled 3 months ago (2 pounds roasted pecans in the mash) which will definitely be sent out as gifts this Christmas.

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Old 10-26-2010, 12:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickfrothingham View Post
I just used it on a Pecan Barleywine I bottled 3 months ago (2 pounds roasted pecans in the mash) which will definitely be sent out as gifts this Christmas.
That sounds awesome...how did it come out?
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:28 AM   #25
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Very tasty winter sipping beer! It got 2nd place in Category 21-A last weekend in a competition here in Philadelphia. PM me for the recipe if you like, I don't want to get off topic on this thread.

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Very tasty winter sipping beer! It got 2nd place in Category 21-A last weekend in a competition here in Philadelphia. PM me for the recipe if you like, I don't want to get off topic on this thread.
I'm sure BSBrewer isn't the only one who think that sounds awesome! Why not post it up in the recipes section? Or if you don't want to do that PM it to me as well. Please!
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:01 PM   #27
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Default ok, ok...

Since people asked; I started a recipe thread
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/peca...3/#post2368835

Also, here's the result of the technique described in this thread, using 12 "Scarlet" crayons and 20 glue sticks.

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:37 AM   #28
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So, as an update - I cracked one of them open the other day and it was pretty hard to get the wax off. I would highly suggest using dental floss under the seal to facilitate this process; I had to use a knife to go around a couple times. I don't mind doing this myself, but for the ones I'm giving as gifts I'd rather it be easy.

I put dental floss on a few of my bottles, and those were much easier. Just tie a slipknot in the floss with as little of a tail as possible, pull tight around the neck leaving at least 8 inches of extra. Wrap a couple times around the neck under the cap, then when you seal it leave a few inches coming out from underneath to pull on.

This isn't the most elegant solution, but it beats having to hack away at the wax.

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Old 11-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #29
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I think I will attach some sort of mini label to the floss to make it aesthetically acceptable. At least on the ones I give away as gifts.

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Old 11-08-2010, 05:19 PM   #30
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I think I will attach some sort of mini label to the floss to make it aesthetically acceptable. At least on the ones I give away as gifts.
That's a great idea! I'm envisioning something like these results on google image search
http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl...&q=blank%20tag

Anyone know where to buy something like these tags? Ideally I'm looking for some dark ones, cardboard with an eyehole for the floss
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